The "PvP" Reboot (One Week Later)

I knew when I gave my first impression of Scott Kurtz's rebooted "PvP" that I would be revisiting it a week later.  It's always good to have first impressions, but how much do you really know about a reboot by one measly comic strip?  While I won't go so far as to say having seven strips is enough to say definitively whether or not all things will be good over the next five years, you have a better sense of what it is and isn't.  Turns out, I was right about a few things, and wrong about a few others.  First of all, I was right about this being a 'tweak' rather than a true reboot, but what I didn't expect was for this to be a time jump several years into the future.  On that level the word 'reboot' does appear to fit, and it was certainly not what I was expecting at all.  When I read the second strip of the reboot and realized 'holy cow that's FRANCIS' I immediately knew what Scott was doing and I LOVED it!!!  It's honest-to-God the best thing that could have happened to this strip!

From a personal perspective, Scott was open about struggling with the comic.  He didn't want to write strips about pandemics and whether or not masks were a human right (although this strip feels more true with every passing day).  However, to make comics where the characters lived in the present day and were hanging out together felt dishonest.  For his own sake, he needed a change of scenery, which is what this time jump is allowing.  On the readers side this time jump means we don't have to say goodbye to old characters, but we do get to see them in a different light (except Skull, it appears)!  Francis is now running "PvP."  The fact that he's twenty years older than he was since we last saw him (you know: Since a week ago) that leads to a world of possibility.  How did he come to take over "PvP?"  How did his relationship with Marcy go off the rails?  What happened to Cole and Brent?  Also: WOW!  That's little Katie?!  Brent and Jade's daughter?!

You mean we get to have an established character essentially be a new protagonist?!

While I have been a loyal reader of this comic for a long time, I have to say that this reboot is the best thing to happen to it in ten years!  We have a great setup for new readers that introduces new-ish characters while keeping old ones.  Flashbacks can clue us in as to what happened to the rest of the cast over the years, and the lost time can be retconned very easily.  More new characters will be introduced and we'll have a new generation of old favorites we'll be reading about.  This also makes the strip new while managing to retain the qualities that made this series so beloved over the past twenty years!  There is almost no downside to this except for the fact that eventually Scott will want to comment on some current movie or event, and at that point he'll have to decide whether he wants to time warp the strip again or just make this the new present day (I'm suspecting it will be the latter).

That aside, the only thing I would PERSONALLY recommend (if he so cares to listen) is consider a slight redesign of the faces!  Not in shape or anything, but having a weeks worth of strips to read there are two characteristics across everyone's face that I personally find distracting.  All of the characters have these lines on their face, and while I'm sure they were put there to help with facial expressions, it just looks like Katie and Francis have mustaches (on one I can understand, but the other looks strange).  I'm also puzzled by the fact that everyone seems to have a red nose.  It's not the worst visual choice I've seen, but it does remind me a lot about those old Rankin/Bass animations, where most of the characters had red noses whether they looked good or not.  Those two things don't look right to be, but otherwise the artwork is solid and the series has never looked better!

I'll check in again in a few months to update you on my thoughts on where the series is going.  I'll blog about certain story lines that touch me on a personal level (like I did ten years ago before life took me on a different path).  For now - after reading a week of the rebooted "PvP" - I can safely say that this was the right direction to go in!  Nothing has changed except the time period, we are promised new stories with old and new characters, and the rich history of the strip has not been sacrificed to make it happen!  Even better is the fact that the strip is exciting to read again, and I will be resuming waking up in the morning to make it part of my daily morning ritual once again!

The whole gang has come a long way.

Your Comic Book Guy - Kevin

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